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38. Navjeevan - A New Life
Gandhiji had then settled well in the Ashram. He thought of publishing a weekly named ‘Navjeevan’. Its first issue was published on 7/9/1919. He had purchased a small printing press at Ahmedabad. Its workload started growing day by day. The people employed to work there were not sufficient for the amount of work they had. Gandhiji remembered Swami Anand and sent for him. He could do all kinds of printing jobs. Gandhiji knew for sure that he could do this job. Gandhiji handed over ‘Navjeevan’ to him. Swami Anand took the reins of ‘Navjeevan’ at the end of 1919 and then during the next few months he sent for me.
It was 1919-1920. Gandhiji had already informed the government about the proposed peaceful protest against law, and about the strike and hunger strike. Now ‘Navjeevan’ press started publishing his writeups and articles. The eight pages of the weekly were stretched to 12-16 pages.
The press was run in a very small place in the narrow Chudi Lane. There always used to be hustle and bustle in that place. There would be on order to print new pages even before the typeset was drawn out. Many a times Gandhiji would write with a pencil and it used to be very challenging to read it. The machine operator, the compositors, the proofreaders, all would work day and night. There would be a competition of keeping awake, but Swami Anand would always supersede all of them. He would not sleep for three consecutive nights and yet would be ready to read the proofs the next morning! Gandhiji continued the stream of his brilliantly resplendent articles in ‘Navjeevan’ and ‘Young India’. The Chudi-lane printing press was too small for it. Swamiji sought out a big house near Sarangpur. Maulana Mohmed Ali donated his printing machinery to Gandhiji. It was set-up in the new house.